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Official: De Paul, Molina, Modric start ahead of Argentina vs Croatia; World Cup semis

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Photo by Alex Grimm/Getty Images

Argentina and Croatia will travel to Lusail, Qatar, for the first semi-finals of the 2022 World Cup. Both sides are coming off impressive penalty shoot-out wins against the Netherlands and Brazil respectively, and more than deserve a place in the semis.

Atletico Madrid have two representatives in the Argentina national team, with Rodrigo de Paul starting on the right-wing of the 4-4-2. Nahuel Molina also gets the nod, placed at right-back ahead of the suspended Gonzalo Montiel.

Lionel Messi leads Argentine lines alongside Julian Alvarez, with Angel Correa on the bench and yet to receive any minutes in the tournament.

Meanwhile, Luka Modric will take the responsibility of leading Croatia to their second successive World Cup final, starting in central midfield alongside Marcelo Brozovic and former Madrid star Mateo Kovacic.

Real Madrid target Josko Gvardiol takes his place in central defence, guarding arguably the best goalkeeper of the tournament – Dominik Livakovic.

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Atletico Madrid News

Ancelotti talks Courtois, Militao, Bellingham, VAR controversies ahead of Las Palmas vs Real Madrid

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Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

Coming off a highly controversial game against Almeria, Real Madrid will now travel to Gran Canaria to take on Las Palmas tomorrow as part of the early kick-off.

Carlo Ancelotti spoke about the clash tomorrow, starting off by confirming his goalkeeper for tomorrow, “Lunin will start tomorrow.”

He also added that Madrid were looking to get back to their usual level after back-to-back poor performances, one of which included elimination against Atletico Madrid in the Copa del Rey round of 16.

“We are motivated to return to our best level after 2 bad games.”

The Italian gaffer also commented on the biggest football story in the world today, which was Jurgen Klopp announcing his decision to leave Liverpool at the end of the season.

“It’s quite surprising, I understand. Working for a long time with the same club and players lowers your motivation a bit. He’s doing a fantastic job at Liverpool.”

And of course, Ancelotti also spoke about the leaked VAR audiovisual, some of which are highly controversial for all parties involved. Barcelona coach and players have also commented on the same, in light of the Negreira case.

“They have talked a lot. Everyone knows what has happened in the last 20 years in Spanish football. The Civil Guard is carrying out an investigations. That is the real problem of Spanish football.”

Luckily for the manager and fans, all injured players — minus the ACL trio of David Alaba, Eder Militao, and Thibaut Courtois — are available. Jude Bellingham is suspended, however.

“Everyone is available now after the recent period of injuries.”

“Making up for Bellingham’s absence tomorrow? Brahim and Joselu are available options. They were able to show themselves after I relied on them as substitutes,” he added.

And as far as Militao and Courtois are concerned, both of whom tore their ACL early in the season, Ancelotti suggested that they could make their return before the season ends.

“Courtois and Militão both have the option to play this season. The recovery process is going very well, they are training on an individual level. It is February and these types of injuries last 6-8 months, so I think they will recover before the end of the season.”

Source: Mundo Deportivo

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